The Three Magic P's of Motion NotionArticle by: Lauren DeGaine
Tue August 22, 2017 | 12:30 PM
Motion Notion , an intimate, boutique festival nestled in a golden nook of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is imbued with the passion and inspiration of music-lovers, artists, performers, free thinkers, and beautiful beings. We spoke to some of its integral participants to discover why people are inspired to be a part of the shared safe space of self-discovery, creativity, and openness that is Motion Notion.
Golden, British Columbia. The festival's reference point, Beaverfoot Lodge, sits overlooking the picturesque grounds, which feature riverside camping complete with mountainous skyline and vibrant forest. Add to the stunning backdrop MoNo’s brand-new stage designs with no-expense-spared production, daytime activities and workshops, and top-tier performers, artists and vendors, and you’ve got the makings of the experience of a lifetime. At the heart of the festival lies the village, which ushers its marketplace wanderers down a corridor of artists' wares and nourishing fare into the belly of the Main Stage, and its arms reach into the forest directing you to other dance floors.
“It’s surreal,” says Adam Lewis, Production Manager. “Motion Notion is one of the best events you’ll find anywhere in this kind of environment!”
Those who know Motion Notion know it's worth the journey. The effort made by those who travel to the festival is notable: “This is not a club or an open air downtown where people decide to randomly go,” says Marten Hørger , a mainstay act at MoNo, Every single person there has made an effort to be there.” Marten comes all the way from Germany! Now that's making an effort.
“Expect to be transported to massive new worlds filled with the best sound, lighting, visuals, special effects and entertainers to tantalize your every sense while you listen to some of the best music on the planet,” says the festival's director, Kevin Harper. Oh, and did we mention that all of that juicy production takes place in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains?! We'll say it again, because it's gorgeous.
The cliff sides can hardly hold the good vibrations: Lewis, with his PK Sound crew, will provide full production for the two main stages to create what he describes as “another world in the middle of the forest.” Have you ever listened for a new world before? Lewis and his team are experts in altering our audio experience. The Canadian sound company is a favorite of clubs and festivals across the country.
The nucleus of Motion Notion is its incredibly well-curated lineup featuring a variety of musical styles and artists, ranging from international and veteran producers to West Coast favorites and up-and-coming locals. Everyone plays on epic sound systems. “Every night during peak hours there is always something out of this world to go listen to,” says Todd Fletcher, who goes into the festival early to build and help create a safe environment for people to enjoy themselves in. "All while in front of a kick-ass, loud stereo,” he adds.
Everyone we spoke to on the production team says in one way or another that they truly love the community that gathers at Motion Notion, and cites this as the reason they choose to contribute there. Stephanie Rennie, who has been providing the festival with performers for five years, says, “Motion Notion has a very family vibe to it. Everyone is so kind and caring… It is really like a big group of friends acting cohesively as a team.” Even after a car accident the day before Motion Notion in 2014, Rennie was committed to being on site. “I knew that my family needed me and I didn't want to let them down.”
Motion Notion's artists and staff have a real desire to give to others, share with others, and connect with others. For example, Phil Butterworth will be creating mind-blowing fire art installations for the festival with the help of his partner and the Blazin’ Lily Gals. Butterworth’s motivation and inspiration for his art comes from the collective enjoyment of the festival as a community.
"There’s something amazing about creating something that you just get to stand back and watch other people enjoy,” he says. Adam Lewis explains that putting on a festival is "hard work, but is very rewarding creatively, and the job satisfaction of seeing all the smiles on everyone’s faces is what makes this all worth it."
Not only boasting an incredible line up of music, but also a lineup of daytime activities from acro yoga to partner massage, Motion Notion hosts experiences beyond the dance floor, too. Surya Dancing Buddha has seen the festival grow over the years and will offer many workshops. When asked what he likes about being a MoNo contributor, he said that “it’s always an honor to contribute; I get to be a part of hosting daily activities that bring out the best in others and gives them a chance to fully express themselves.”
These rock stars give from the heart and are the creators of the experience and environment of Motion Notion, but this magical otherworld of freedom needs one final aspect to come to full fruition: its open-hearted attendees. Motion Notion is unique in that it invites every attendee to become a part of what makes the festival spectacular.
For Todd Fletcher, witnessing the personal transformations at Motion Notion is the most rewarding aspect of his involvement. He loves watching the next generation of ravers discover their limits, friendship, camaraderie, love, generosity, and respect for everything around them in the beautiful BC mountains.
“It’s the imagination of Motion Notion’s crowd that gets me,” says Fletcher. “Some of the signs, gizmos and shenanigans that show up on and around the dance floor make me smile all year. It gives me something to look forward to next year.”
“Motion Notion is a vessel,” Butterworth adds. “The festival supplies the location and amazing music but it is up to us to create the experience. It’s all the weirdos doing their weird things, all the artists creating their most imaginative things, all the vendors, and encounters that you can’t wait to tell your friends about even though they won’t believe you… It’s all the wonderful people that make you want to come back year after year and contribute something to make their experience a little more interesting.”